New York Islanders Win NHL Draft Lottery

Eddie O'MalleyContributor IApril 14, 2009

OSHAWA, ON - JANUARY 14:  John Tavares #91 of Team Orr skates in the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team Cherry on Wednesday January 14, 2009 at the General Motors Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 6-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

There seems to finally be some light at the end of the tunnel, as the New York Islanders have won the draft lottery, and will pick first in the NHL's draft on June 26th. 

This is the biggest win for this franchise in quite some time, as they now can draft either the highly touted Canadian center John Tavares, or Swedish defenseman Victor Hedmen.

Isles fans can somewhat exhale now, after suffereing through a long losing season.

Garth Snow won't tip his hand in which player he will draft, or if he will draft neither, and trade the pick.  I would not read much into that, and I think that on June 26, John Tavares will be wearing an Islander jersey.

Snow would be crazy not to draft Tavares.

This is by no means a knock on Hedmen.  He's a 6'6" defenseman, who plays an excellent two-way game.  Defensemen like Hedmen don't come around very often.

It's just that Tavares is the biggest Canadien name in the draft since the Penguins drafted Sidney Crosby.

Tavares would give the Isles a star name that they desperately need.  He will sell more season tickets, and help the Isles to continue to increase their attendance numbers.

I'm sure the NHL will also want to market Tavares, which will help give the Isles a much needed boost in the media.

Tavares and Okposo together on a top line would be a very good combination as well.

The Isles will be holding a draft party at the Coliseum June 26.  They will have analysis on the draft, and you can watch the Isles hopefully draft Tavares on the jumbo-tron.